E02 - How breakfast affects your attention

Pay attention to your food intake early in the day for maximum focus and performance without feeling hungry.

What you’ll learn today:

  • This week’s community challenge

  • How Kelloggs fooled humanity

  • How breakfast affects your your ability to focus

  • What and how much to eat in the morning

  • How to put it into action with the habit loop

This week’s community challenge

Drink half a liter of water with half a teaspoon of salt right after getting up.

- Lemmy, the Attention Master

Episode #2

Hi, my name is Lemmy and this is my story about how I became The Attention Master. This is episode #2. If you want to read how this journey started, you can find all of my adventures here.

Last time I taught you why you should avoid social media and your phone in general at all costs within the first 60 minutes of the day and what you can do instead. In the next three weeks, I want to make you aware of 3 common morning mistakes that 99% of all people make and that are pure poison for mastering your attention throughout the day. The first one is all about the holy breakfast.

1. We’ve all been fooled by Kelloggs

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, my mother used to say. I am sure you have heard the same. Well, for kids that might be true since they need food intake throughout the day for body growth. For adults, this is nothing more than a Marketing masterpiece coined in the 19th century by James Caleb Jackson and John Harvey Kellogg, to sell their newly invented breakfast cereal. In the meantime, science rather argues for the opposite: No breakfast at all is king!

2. Pros and Cons of Breakfast

Most of us are physiologically set up for a peak in productivity during the hours before noon, so being alert during that time of day is crucial. Fasting increases the level of adrenaline, which promotes alertness, whereas eating activates our rest-and-digest system causing tiredness.

However, if you're hungry when you wake up, eating early in the day can trigger an increase in metabolism and temperature, making you more alert. So not eating is king, but if you want to stick to breakfast, it’s just important what you eat and how much of it.

3. Food Type

If you're aiming for alertness, consider a meal that is mainly protein, healthy fats, and low carbohydrates. Meats and nuts can support alertness, provided you don't eat too much of them. Vegetables are healthy and should be included. Carbohydrates can have a sedative-like quality, so you might want to keep them on the low side. If you need some concrete inspiration, check this article from healthline.

4. Volume

Be mindful of the volume of food. Eating a large volume of anything can make you feel lethargic as it diverts blood to your gut, leaving less blood going to your brain.

Remember, these are general guidelines and might not work for everyone. It's important to listen to your body and adjust your diet accordingly.

Lemmy's Hack to put it into action with the Habit Loop method

  • Trigger: Put a "Let’s get my morning routine started" sticker to your bedroom door so that you can see it before you leave your room for the first time of the day.

  • Action: I know, skipping breakfast is tough the first 2-4 weeks when you have been eating it every single day of your life so far. It’s just a really sticky habit. Besides, you might experience a shaky feeling coming from low blood sugar. For most of us though, the real problem is not low blood sugar, but insufficient hydration and sodium.


    Action 1: Hydration & Minerals

    Drinking plenty of water and adding half a teaspoon of salt often solves that problem.


    Action 2: Taste

    Get taste from a cup of black coffee or sugar free tea. It does not only support alertness, but also effectively blunts feelings of hunger. Just make sure not to drink it within the first 90 minutes after waking up (-> we’ll cover this in episode #3).


    Action 3: Orosensory (=mouth) stimulation

    Use sugar free chewing gums. You get a bit of a taste and chewing imitates eating. This is called Orosensory stimulation which has been proven to be an important contributing factor to satiation and to suppress short-term cravings.

  • Reward: Enjoy your morning coffee or tea

Recap:

  • Community Challenge: A glas of water (0,5l) with half a teaspoon of salt when getting up.

  • If you can, skip breakfast: more time, more focus, and you burn fat.

  • If you can’t, regulate what you eat and reduce it to a minimum.

  • Fasting makes you alert (adrenaline release).

  • Eating makes you tired.

Sources:

ONE MORE WAY WE CAN HELP YOU

We know that mastering your attention is extremely difficult. It’s not gonna happen within a day. That’s why we have built Lemio, an app that is supposed to be your personal buddy on the journey. It’s still in beta, but as a subscriber of our newsletter, you can claim your exclusive access via this link:

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